Tuesday 13 November 2018

Choosing an angle

Has anyone ever noticed how much Mrs Merkel looks like Ken Clarke in drag?

Listening to tonight's Radio 4 Six O'Clock News and its coverage of Mrs Merkel's calls for a European army, I was very struck by its angle. 

The angle I've been reading this afternoon/evening concerns lots of pro-Brexit people saying that the likes of Nick Clegg have been proved to be liars, so you'd expect the idea of a European army to be at least acknowledged, in the usual BBC terminology as "controversial" - if only in passing. 

But, no. 

Instead we got Jenny Hill presenting it almost as if Mrs Merkel had finally, thankfully, got off the fence and done the right thing.

For here was Jenny telling us that "an uncharacteristically impassioned Angela Merkel was on fighting form" today and that, "after months of fudging her position on the subject", Mrs Merkel  had "unequivocally" backed President Macron in calling for the creation of a European army ("..albeit one day.."). And Mrs Merkel didn't just back M. Macron; her statement was also likely to "enrage" Donald Trump. Meanwhile, Donald Trump "took aim" at M. Macron "over Nato contributions, the Second World War and wine production". 

So the angle was: Mrs Merkel taking M. Macron's side against President Trump. 

Cast it in that way and the idea of a European army might well appear uncontroversial and might especially appeal to people who don't like Donald Trump.

Cast it, in contrast, as being the latest federalist move from the increasingly unpopular leaders of France and Germany and as something which will inevitably arouse concern among the EU's Eurosceptic voices and reinforce UK Eurosceptic voices then a different audience reaction might very well result.

It really is how you choose to angle it.


  1. Finally, they get round to reporting to it! Probably been a few editorial conferences during the day and everyone has been waiting for the agreed BBC line to emerge. The "line" appears to be: "Move along folks, nothing to see here. Nothing to do with the Referendum. Not a boost for the Leavers. Just an attempt to restrain that Mad Dog Trump. Probably never happen. All good."


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.